FALSE: Eddie Garcia dies of ‘heart attack’

Rappler.com
FALSE: Eddie Garcia dies of ‘heart attack’
(UPDATED) The veteran actor died after sustaining a fracture on his cervical spine

(UPDATED)

CLAIM: Veteran actor Eddie Garcia, 90, died due to a heart attack.

A reader emailed a post by Facebook user Jennica Samonte Castillo that said Garcia passed away due to a heart attack while filming a television soap opera. Castillo posted the claim on Facebook group “Philippine Call Center” on Sunday, June 9. Castillo also wrote that the actor went into a coma. 

Claim Check, Facebook’s tool that identifies suspicious posts for fact checkers to review, also flagged 20 posts with similar claims. We collated all the pages and websites flagged by Claim Check as of Monday morning, June 10.

Websites:

  • https://news.kanyeisinthelighthouse.com/
  • https://nationalistanews.info/
  • https://gopremuimvideos.com/
  • https://updatednews.worldstrends.info/
  • https://newsplustogo.info/
  • http://checkpoint.host/
  • http://dutertetv.petpress.info/
  • https://gmaworldupdate.litakemtachatlog.info/
  • http://litakemtachatlog.info/
  • http://gma.balitang24-7.info/
  • http://balitabroadcast.info/ (post was taken down)

Facebook pages:

  • I’m okay
  • Unofficial: UN HAPPY
  • BeHappy.
  • L O V E Q U O T E S.
  • Subdiboys

Facebook accounts:

  • Jennica Samonte Castillo
  • John Kyle Abiñon
  • Steven Garcia Sayson
  • Spotted Spotted

These claims were posted from June 8 to June 10. Collectively, the claims had over 20,300 shares, 11,400 reactions, and 4,300 comments based on numbers from CrowdTangle and Claim Check as of writing.

Rating: FALSE

The facts: 90-year-old actor Eddie Garcia collapsed on set on Saturday, June 8, during the taping of an upcoming television soap opera. He later died on Thursday, June 20, at 4:55 pm after sustaining a fracture on his cervical spine. (READ: Eddie Garcia ‘under critical observation’ for 48 hours)

Garcia tripped and fell on set while filming GMA Network’s upcoming teleserye Rosang Agimat. He was rushed to Mary Johnston Hospital in Tondo, Manila and was in “critical condition,” and was not comatose, according to the official statement from Garcia’s family issued by GMA Network. He was later transferred to a bigger hospital in Quezon City, according to reports. The statement also said that Garcia had a “severe heart attack.”

However, news reports citing a doctor, Enrique Lagman, later clarified that the actor did not suffer from a stroke or a heart attack. Rather, the doctor said it was due to a severe cervical fracture based on test results. Lagman is the uncle of Garcia’s longtime partner Lillibeth Romero.

A video from a certain Mhervin Maco Facebook circulated on Facebook over the weekend. It showed footage from the taping, where Garcia tripped over a cable on set as he entered the frame. He then fell flat on his face and failed to get up.

GMA Network then released a follow-up statement on Sunday, June 9, saying that they will review the video. The network also clarified that the information that the actor had a heart attack came from the family. (READ: GMA Network to review video of Eddie Garcia on ‘Rosang Agimat’ set)

“The video of Mr Eddie Garcia faltering in his steps and eventually collapsing has reached GMA. We are seriously reviewing the said video as well as other videos of the same scene which our cameras also took, before we make any conclusions on what really transpired. The statement that was released earlier was given to GMA News by Nick, Mr Eddie Garcia’s stepson,” the network said.

Veteran actress Bibeth Ortega, Garcia’s close friend, further clarified in an interview with GMA Network Monday morning, June 10, that the previous diagnosis of doctors was heart attack based on cursory physical examination. Test results only came in Saturday evening, which was when they ruled out heart attack, aneurysm, or heatstroke.

The actress also said that the actor was still “in deep sleep” when she visited him on Sunday, June 9.

Among the 11 websites that shared the false information, two had been fact-checked by Rappler in the past. These are https://newsplustogo.info/ and http://litakemtachatlog.info/. (READ: HOAX: Gary Valenciano ‘dead’)  – Pauline Macaraeg/Rappler.com

Keep us aware of suspicious Facebook pages, groups, accounts, websites, articles, or photos in your network by contacting us at factcheck@rappler.com. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.